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Don’t let bad breath stand in the way of kisses, hugs, and up-close conversations.
Chronic, stinky breath is nothing to be ashamed about. It is a common health disorder that affects the digestive system, and in the rarest of cases, bad breath may even be sign of a serious disease, such as a lung infection, cancer, kidney failure, or liver failure.
Most often, bad breath—or halitosis—is something that we can fix without special mouthwash or forever omitting favorite foods, like garlic.
The Root of Bad Breath
According to Chinese medicine, bad breath is most often a sign of heat in the body—specifically in the Stomach acupuncture meridian.
This “fire” usually arises from some sort of excess in lifestyle. For example, this could mean eating too much food in general, spicy foods, alcohol, medications, or even stress.
Bad breath is an embarrassing yet common condition that may be related to an excess of food, alcohol, or stress. Supporting digestive health with probiotics and proper food combining can naturally freshen halitosis to improve your quality of life.
Other signs of Stomach fire that may or may not accompany bad breath include:
- Burning sensation in the stomach, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Thirst and the desire for cold drinks
- Voracious appetite
- Eating in the middle of the night
- Flushed face
- Bleeding gums or gum ulcers
- Dark yellow urine
- Deep red colored tongue
- A yellow or brown tongue coat
Chinese medicine also tells us that foul breath gets worse in the summer months since this is when the environment is warmest and can contribute to internal heat. Fortunately, internal heat can be alleviated through small adjustments in lifestyle and habit. Stomach fire is the result of excess, which affects the digestive system.
Cutting back on alcohol, smoking, and stress are some of the more obvious ways that we can reduce excess and heat toxicity in the body.
Tip 1: Proper Food Combining for Better Breath
We can also reduce heat by eliminating any opportunity of “food retention,” which is when food does not move through the digestive tract quickly and effortlessly.
Stagnant food or “food retention” can generate heat because its slow movement through the digestive tract allows gut bacteria to feed on food and multiply. While gut bacteria benefit the body, an overgrowth of gut bacteria in the small intestine can—and will—contribute to issues like heartburn, abdominal cramping, constipation, and bad breath.
One way to limit bacterial overgrowth is to follow the Body Ecology Principle of 80/20. The 80/20 Principle tells us to:
- Eat only until 80% full.
- Eat 80% non-starchy vegetables and ocean vegetables and 20% animal protein, grain-like seeds, or starchy vegetables.
The Principle of 80/20 ensures that enough digestive enzymes are available to support the movement of food through the digestive tract. It leaves the body more alkaline, which naturally inhibits bacterial overgrowth and gut infections.
Tip 2: Probiotics Benefit Oral Health
These days, probiotics are not just for intestinal health.
Probiotics, or beneficial bacteria that work synergistically with the body, are used to prevent heartburn, treat diverticulitis, topically to address acne, and even in the mouth to treat bad breath.
Dr. Harold Katz, founder of The California Breath Clinics and the author of The Bad Breath Bible, notes that, “Probiotics are able to reduce halitosis by muscling out harmful (and halitosis-producing) bacteria with strains that will not produce oral odors.” (1)
Dr. Katz refers to a Swedish study when he explains that only a small number of people—as few as 10 to 20%—actually have active amounts of beneficial mouth bacteria.
In 2011, the Indian Journal of Dental Research observed that periodontal disease management is moving away from the antibiotic model, placing more attention on the use of probiotics and prebiotics. (2)
Many of these beneficial mouth bacteria are the same lactic acid bacteria that benefit the gut. As it turns out, when we eat cultured vegetables and drink InnergyBiotic, we are not only helping out our gut—we are also making our breath a little sweeter.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Chronic bad breath is quite common and can even be associated with a more serious disease, in rare cases. Chinese medicine tells us that bad breath indicates heat in the body in the Stomach acupuncture meridian. This fire normally comes from an excessive lifestyle with too much alcohol, spicy foods, medications, or stress.
Here are 2 tips you can use today to naturally freshen your breath:
- Use proper food combining. Following the Body Ecology Principle of 80/20 will prevent food from slowing down in the digestive tract to feed gut bacteria. This can cause cramping, heartburn, constipation, and bad breath.
- Try probiotics. Probiotics can benefit your intestinal health and can even be used to treat bad breath in the mouth. Beneficial bacteria found in cultured vegetables and InnergyBiotic will support digestion and make breath sweeter.
- Katz, Harold. Bad Breath? How Probiotics Can Help. Huffpost Healthy Living. Jun 15 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-harold-katz/bad-breath-probiotics_b_857506.html
- RR Koduganti, et al. Probiotics and prebiotics in periodontal therapy. Indian J Dent Res 2011;22:324-30